3:11pm: The Blue Jays have acquired infielder Yangervis Solarte from the Padres, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). It’s not yet clear what the Padres have gotten in return for Solarte, who comes with up to three years of team control. He’ll make a guaranteed $4MM in 2018, and then Toronto will be able to decide on club options totaling $13.5MM in 2019 and ’20.
The 30-year-old Solarte is the second infielder the Jays have landed via trade this winter, joining Aledmys Diaz, whom they acquired from the Cardinals last month. The area was a clear point of concern for the club entering the offseason, given that neither second baseman Devon Travis nor shortstop Troy Tulowitzki have been able to stay consistently healthy during their careers.
Solarte brings experience at all four infield positions, though the majority of his work has come at third base. He’s unlikely to see much action there next season, however, unless the Jays trade superstar Josh Donaldson between now and the summer or Donaldson misses time with injuries. Solarte spent the majority of last year at second base, where he has posted minus-3 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-1.1 Ultimate Zone Rating across just over 1,000 career innings, and that figures to be his primary position in 2018.
The switch-hitting Solarte is known mostly for his bat, having slashed a respectable .267/.327/.419 over 2,061 plate appearances since debuting with the Yankees in 2014. Solarte experienced a drop-off in production last year, though, as both his .255/.314/.416 line and .161 ISO underwhelmed. However, he did strike out in just 11.9 percent of PAs (in line with his career rate of 11.5) and belt a personal-high 18 home runs.
This trade brings an end to a decent tenure in San Diego for Solarte, whom the Padres acquired from the Yankees for third baseman Chase Headley in 2014. Solarte had been an oft-speculated trade piece over the past couple years, and with Headley having returned to the team in a deal with the Yankees this winter and shortstop Freddy Galvis also now in the mix after a swap with the Phillies, the Padres had a glut of infielders. As a result, they’d been shopping Solarte, whose exit leaves the Pads with Headley, Carlos Asuaje, Cory Spangenberg and Christian Villanueva among their current third/second base options (though Headley may be on his way out soon).